Spring Bank Holiday on Monday 27 May means all rubbish and recycling collections will be one day later that week, including Friday collections taking place on Saturday 1 June.
Recycling and rubbish collection days are changing for some households in Mendip and South Somerset. Read about the changes and how they may affect you.

Introduction

Are you struggling with bills? Support is available

The Household Support Fund is designed to provide short-term urgent financial help to Somerset residents who are struggling to afford household essentials such as buying food and paying for prepayment meter energy bills.

DWP logo

Funding for this scheme is provided by the Department for Work and Pensions. You can find out more about the Household Support Fund and other help available on the GOV.UK website.

Applications for this funding can be made once by each household, for each funding round. Funding rounds run every six months from October 2023 to March 2024 and April 2024 to September 2024.

Applications close on 30 September 2024

If you have successfully applied for the Household Support Fund in the past, and nothing has changed, you will still be eligible for support.

information

Applications can only be made online. If you are unable to apply online yourself or do not have anyone who can help you, please see the ‘Help to apply’ section below.

What the fund will cover

It is important to note that in all cases, the Household Support Fund cannot make direct payments towards bills and, it does not provide cash payments or make payments in to your bank account. Instead, where support is approved, vouchers will be issued for an agreed monetary value.

The Household Support Fund could help if you are struggling to afford things like:

  • Gas and electricity – For those with pre-payment energy meters, your cards or keys can be topped up. (vouchers must be redeemed within 5 days of receipt). For help towards all other energy bills, Food vouchers can be given in lieu of payment towards fuel bills. The value of the food vouchers can then be used to offset payment of fuel bills or other direct debit bills.
  • Food – For help towards paying for food, supermarket food vouchers are issued which can be used in all major supermarkets (valid for six months from receipt).

The fund will not cover:

  • debt repayments
  • cash payments
  • rent or housing costs
  • phone bills
  • non-urgent items such as televisions and some furniture

Who can apply

You do not need to be in receipt of benefits to apply for this fund. And any existing benefits will not be affected by payments from this fund.

To apply, you must:

  • live in the county of Somerset – if you live in North Somerset, help is available from North Somerset Council.
  • be over the age of 16 and living independently of parents and carers.
  • have a total household income between £0 and £1,484 per month, or £17,809 per annum. Household income includes all benefits, earnings and pensions, except for Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments, Housing Benefit, and the housing element of Universal Credit.
  • provide ID when you apply.

You can apply if any of the following applies to you. You:

  • are temporarily out of work
  • are unable to work due to illness
  • are long term unemployed and unable to retrain due to multiple reasons such as poor health
  • have a chronic illness
  • have a severe learning or physical disability that affects your day-to-day life
  • are in receipt of pension credit
  • currently use a mental health service, or a member of your household does
  • are a carer
  • are pregnant
  • have a child that requires a specialist diet
  • have a child with a chronic illness
  • have a child with a severe learning or physical disability that affects their day-to-day life
  • are, or have been, a child in care (Child looked after)
  • are a care leaver
  • receive support from Somerset Council Children’s Social Care
  • are fleeing domestic abuse
  • are homeless and have been placed in temporary accommodation
  • are a refugee
  • are a foster carer, kinship carer or special guardian who cares for a Somerset child and can demonstrate a need for immediate or short-term support, which could not be reasonably paid for from any allowance you may receive
  • receive support from Somerset Council Adults Social Care
  • you or your family currently have a Social Worker and are on a Child in Need Plan or on a Child Protection Plan

You can get help regardless of your work situation, provided you show that you are struggling to pay for essentials. A Household Support Fund will not affect your benefits.

You are unable to apply if you:

  • have savings over the value of £2000

If you do not qualify for this funding and are a Somerset resident there may be other help available. Please see the ‘Help to apply’ section below for more information.

Apply now

Applications for the Household Support Fund can only be made online. If you are unable to apply online yourself, please see the ‘Help to apply’ section below.

Applications for this fund are processed on behalf of Somerset Council by Auriga. You will be redirected to their website once you select the ‘Apply now‘ button below, If you experience any problems logging in or completing the application, please contact the Auriga Team on 0121 362 3613 or email:somerset@aurigaservices.co.uk . Please do not phone Somerset Council as we are not able to help with applications or problems with their website.

Before you start

  • If you have applied before, you can log in using the same email and password
  • If you are applying for the first time, you will need to create an account by selecting ‘Create Individual Account’
  • You will need to upload two forms of proof of identification (ID) at the time of applying, so please have this ready
    You will need:

    1. Proof of identity and address – for example, a bank statement, benefits letter, NHS letter, tenancy letter, driving licence
    2. Proof of income – for example, Universal Credit statement or employer payslip. Bank statements are not proof of income

Help to apply

If you are unable to apply online yourself, you will need to ask someone for help. You could consider the following:

  • ask a family member, friend, or neighbour to help you complete the application or apply on your behalf
  • if you are receiving care support, ask your carer or community village agent to help you complete the application, or to apply on your behalf
  • visit your local library, where you can use one of their public computers. Or take in your own device and use their Wi-Fi for free. You can read more on our page Wi-Fi in libraries

If none of the above apply, these organisations may be able to assist you.

What happens once you have applied

The application will be reviewed by the Household Support Fund. You will then be notified if your application has been approved and if so, what will be provided and how you will receive this.

The Household Support Fund aim to review all requests for:

  • food and utility top up vouchers within 10 working days.
  • white goods, beds and other within 10 working days – please note, white goods and beds can take 2 weeks or more to be delivered dependent on stock availability

If your application is approved, you will receive notification by email and your vouchers will be made available to you within 24 hours.

If your application is declined and your circumstances change within the funding window, you can reapply.

Fraudulent Claims

Where Somerset Council suspects that fraud may have occurred, it will investigate the matter as appropriate, this may lead to criminal proceedings.

If a claimant attempts to claim an award from the Household Support Fund by making a false declaration or providing false evidence, they may have committed an offence under the Theft Act 1968.

Other help that is available

Last reviewed: April 30, 2024 by Keri

Next review due: October 30, 2024

Back to top